Brush Up

When I meet clients who are having trouble with a certain technique, or say that they can't figure out why (fill in the blank) is happening when they apply makeup, my first question is always, "What does your brush look like?"

Often times they are using a brush that is old and worn out, poor quality, hasn't been washed this decade (shame!), or is just plain not right for the job they are trying to do. You wouldn't stir pancake batter with a straw would you? Hopefully not. The same idea goes for makeup brushes. The wrong tool can make a mess of what you are trying to accomplish. And the right tool can make it so much easier.

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The problem that often arises then, is that there are so many options to chose from. I personally use a variety of brushes on myself, and also carry a number of different brands in my kit. I had the luxury of getting brushes at a steep discount when I used to work for a cosmetic line, and while those are still in my kit and serving me well after all these years, I don't know that they're in my price range these days. That sucks for the everyday consumer. Because it's confusing.

How are you supposed to choose between one really expensive brush, or a whole bunch that cost less?

There are many options on the market, and I hope I can help give some insight. And honestly, price means nothing.

All that matters is the quality, and the way it performs.

I have brushes I picked up for a couple dollars that I love just as much as brushes that retail for over $60. It's silly.

I'm making a mental note to break down the world of brushes here in future posts. But for now I wanted to share a little about some brushes that were sent to me for an honest review. I recently received three brushes from Stilazzi to play with and talk about. I had the chance to use them on set for a music video with an older male actor, as well as over this past weekend during two different bridal consultations. I am pleasantly surprised.

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I say surprised only because of what I mentioned earlier. There are so many brushes on the market. And a lot of them are pretty terrible. So I never know what to expect.

These brushes are really great.

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1. Buff Brush (Retails $30 and worth every penny) - Favorite!

 Big, dense, fluffy head. Rocking a flat top that is incredible for buffing face makeup. You could use this to apply powder all over. I used it after applying bronzer and blush to my bride, to literally buff everything so it appeared completely seamless. I've needed a brush like this for a while. It's something I would buy for myself, and also my kit.

2. Medium Shadow Brush (Retails $21) - A smaller, thicker head, about index finger nail size. Great for soft shadow application on the lid.

3. Flat Shadow Brush (Retails $22) - A larger, flat head, a little bigger than thumbnail size. Works great for quick all over shadow color. I also used it to pat concealer under the eyes.

Pros:

  • Quality natural fibers, meaning they are great for powder or creams
  • Firm, but soft to the touch
  • Good handle length, not too long or short
  • Super lightweight
  • Little to no shedding
  • Mid-range price

Cons:

  • There was a little "dust" that fluffed out of them at first, though that's normal (tip: always wash your new brushes before using to clean/sanitize them from production and shipping)
  • The ferrule (part that holds handle & fibers together) on the face Buff brush felt a little loose, though it doesn't hinder use at all
  • Mid-range price (like I said before, I have some very inexpensive brushes that I adore)

Overall I really loved these brushes, and they will definitely be a staple in my kit. I will probably pick up another of the Buff brush for myself since it really impressed me. And the Makeup Show is coming up in NYC, so I will be checking out the rest of the brushes in person to add some more to my stash. Frends Beauty Supply carries them in store in Hollywood, and also online.

What questions do you guys have about brushes? I'd love to address some in a future post.